Mike Huckabee is tired of having social conservatives dismissed as irrelevant when fiscal priorities dominate the political discussion. "The idea that there is a conflict—if there is, it's not among social conservatives," he says. He also wants Americans to stop talking about President Obama's birth certificate and spreading false rumors that he is a Muslim, saying it's "inappropriate, wrong-headed, and not helpful to the overall discussion." Christianity Today spoke with Huckabee about prioritizing economic and social issues, whether a candidate's faith matters, and why he would enter the presidential race in the summer if he runs.
In your new book you make an argument that economic policy and social issues are interconnected. Do you think conservatives have let economic issues distract them from social issues?
It's more than a distraction. It's a misunderstanding of the connection, and that's one of the reasons I wanted to open with a reminder that you cannot have a strong economy if you have a social structure that's falling apart. If you look at the most runaway costs of government, it's Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid—all of which are essentially programs government designed to pick up the pieces of broken people. There was a day in our culture when families would have taken care of their family members. Two-thirds of women today who are impoverished, their children would not be in poverty if they were married to the fathers. There's a $3 billion Dad deficit, which is the direct cost that results from absentee fathers and single parents. I know some people who are fiscal conservatives who aren't necessarily social conservatives, and they may even be philosophically—they just don't think it's all ...1